Man receives year in jail, probation after guilty plea for fatal drunken driving crash in St. Paul

A man who pleaded guilty to his role in a fatal drunken driving crash last February learned his fate Tuesday.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann sentenced 32-year-old Salvador Juan Battles to one year in jail, minus the 126 days he’s already served, and stayed a 57-month prison term pending the completion of eight years of probation after Battles pleaded guilty to one count of criminal vehicular homicide.

Battles will also have to pay $8,886 in restitution to the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparation Board.

As previously reported, Battles ran a red light on Feb. 26 at the intersection of Marshall and Cretin Avenues and struck the vehicle of 25-year-old Isiah Desmond Valle-Kirk.

First responders took Valle-Kirk to the hospital, where he died.

A charging document states Battles was behind the wheel of a Toyota 4Runner that had run a red light and T-boned a Chevy Impala at a high rate of speed.

Battles’ eyes were glossy and he smelled of alcohol, according to the criminal complaint. He failed a field sobriety test, even though he claimed he had only had one beer.

In August, he pleaded guilty to the single count of criminal vehicular homicide — operating with negligence and being under the influence of alcohol.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Battles expressed his remorse and told Valle-Kirk’s family members he’s “deeply sorry for what I’ve done.” He also pledged to be an advocate to prevent others from making the same mistake he did.

“What I plan on doing from this day forward is just being a beacon to anyone who could potentially be going through this situation as well, and to just help them not do anything in the same regard as my actions have caused,” he testified.